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The Center for Pediatric Dentistry


Travis Nelson, DDS, MSD, MPH

Acting Chair



Dr. Nelson is a Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Washington. He maintains hospital privileges at Seattle Children’s and is actively involved in dental treatment for all children. He supervises dental students and residents and cares for patients in faculty practice.


  • DDS, Loma Linda University, 2007
  • Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry, University of Washington, 2010
  • Master of Public Health (MPH), University of Washington, 2010
  • Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, 2012

Academic Interests

  • Dental care for children with special health care needs
  • Alternative approaches to treatment of oral disease
  • Medical/dental partnerships
  • Innovative restorative materials
  • Dental care for children with autism and related conditions


  1. Nelson, T.M., Berg, J.H., Bell J.F., Leggott P.J., Seminario A.L. (2010) Assessing the Effectiveness of Text Messages as Appointment Reminders in a Pediatric Dental Setting. J Am Dent Assoc. 2011 Apr; 142(4):397-405.
  2. Nelson, T.M. The Key to Caries Prevention. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. July 2011; 9(7): 48-50, 52-53.
  3. Nelson, T.M. The Consequences of Convenience. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. February 2012; 10(2): 30-32, 34
  4. Nelson, T.M. An Improved Interim Therapeutic Restoration (ITR) Technique for Management of Anterior Early Childhood Caries. Pediatric Dentistry, July-August 35(4): E124-128.
  5. Nelson T., Nelson G. The Role of Sedation in Contemporary Pediatric Dentistry, Dental Clinics of North America, Volume 57, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 145-161
  6. Nelson T. The Continuum of Behavior Guidance, Dental Clinics of North America, Volume 57, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 129-143,
  7. da Fonseca, M, Nelson, T.M. Chapter 14: The Use of General Anesthesia in Behavior Management. In: Wright G, Kupietzky A, eds. Behavior management in dentistry for children. 2nd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell; 2014: 185-195
  8. Velan E, Nelson T. Evaluating Caries Risk. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene, February 2014; 12(2): 53-56
  9. Quinonez R, Nelson T Pediatric Behavior Guidance in the 21st Century, Workshop Report: Advocacy and Policy, Pediatric Dentistry, March-April 2014 36(2): 158-160
  10. McKinney C, Nelson T, Scott, et. al. Predictors of Unmet Dental Need in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results from a National Sample. Academic Pediatrics. November-December 2014; 14(6): 624-31
  11. Stieber, J, Nelson, T, Huebner, C. Considerations for the Use of Dental Photography and Electronic Media in Education and Clinical Practice. Journal of Dental Education. April 2014; 79(4): 432-438
  12. Nelson, T, Sheller, B, Friedman, C, Bernier, R. Educational and Therapeutic Approaches to Providing Dental Care to Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Special Care in Dentistry May 2015; 35(3):105-13.
  13. Nelson, T, Huebner, C, Kim, A, Scott, J, Pickrell, J. Parent-Reported Distress In Children Under 3-years Old During Preventive Medical and Dental Care. European Archives of Pediatric Dentistry. 2015; 16(3),: 283-290
  14. Nelson T, Xu Z. Pediatric Dental Sedation: Challenges and Opportunities. Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dentistry. 2015: 7 : 97-106
  15. Lane, Nelson T, Thikkurissy S, Scott J. Assessing Temperament as a Predictor of Oral Sedation Success Using the Children’s Behavior Questionnaire Short Form. Pediatric Dentistry, 2015; 37(5): 429-35
  16. Nelson T, De Bord J. Strategies for Treating Children with Autism. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene October 2015; 13(10): 61-64
  17. Nelson T, Scott J, Crystal Y, Berg J, Milgrom P. Silver Diamine Fluoride in Pediatric Dentistry Training Programs: Survey of Graduate Program Directors. Pediatric Dentistry, 2016; 38(3): 212-217.
  18. Nelson T, Huebner, C, Kim, A, Scott, J. A Pilot Study of Parent, Dentist, and Independent Rater Assessment of Child Distress During Preventive Dental Visits. The Journal of Dentistry for Children, 2016 83(2) May-August 2016
  19. Marion I, Nelson T, Sheller B, McKinney C, Scott J. Dental Stories for Children with Autism. Special Care in Dentistry. Special Care in Dentistry. 2016; 36(4): 181-186
  20. Nelson T, Griffith T, Lane K, Thikkurissy S, Scott J. Assessing temperament as a predictor of nitrous oxide inhalation success using the children’s behavior questionnaire short form. Anesthesia Progress. 2017 Spring; 64 (1):17-21.
  21. Nelson T, Chim A, Sheller B, McKinney C, Scott J. Predicting Successful Dental Examination for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. JADA Accepted for Publication 3/17
  22. Nelson T, da Fonseca M, Scott J, Hannanvash N, Weinstein P. Patient Care Agreements to Improve Pediatric Dental Compliance and Self-Efficacy. Pediatric Dentistry. Accepted for Publication 4/2017

Book Chapters and Educational Materials

  1. Nelson T. A Physician’s Guide to Identifying Pediatric Dental Decay and Common Oral Pathology. MedEdPORTAL; 2012. Available from:
  2. Nelson T., Hein C, Empowering Physicians, Nurses and other Non-Dental Healthcare Providers in Caring for the Oral Health of Children and Adolescents. Oral-Systemic Health Education for Non-Dental Healthcare Providers. Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Manitoba. October 2014.
  3. Waggoner W, Nelson T. Restorative Dentistry for the Primary Dentition In: Fields, Casamassimo, McTigue, Nowak. Pediatric Dentistry, Infancy through Adolescence. 6th Edition. Elsevier; 2016. In Press.
  4. Nelson T. Killian C., Followell T., Patients with Special Health Care Needs In: Nowak and Casamassimo, The Handbook of Pediatric Dentistry. 5th Edition. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; 2017. In Press.